CNHI News Service


December 31, 2012

Playoff berth marks dramatic turnaround for Colts

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indianapolis Colts' season is a story of an unlikely turnaround and a new coach's battle against cancer.

As inspiring as the tale of 2012 may be, the Colts say an important chapter is still unfinished.

“The story has yet to be written," said rookie tight end Coby Fleener. "Ultimately, it’s what we do in the playoffs that means something. Getting there is one thing, winning games there is another.”

The Colts go to Baltimore in the first round of the playoffs next weekend to play a team head coach Chuck Pagano knows well.

Pagano spent the past four years as a defensive coach for the Ravens.

“It’ll be a great challenge," he said. "They’ve got a great team, and they’ve got great players all over the place."

The Ravens rested several starters Sunday and lost 23-17 in the season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals. Baltimore (10-6) won the AFC North division title but has lost four of its last five contests.

Indianapolis (11-5), meanwhile, has won nine of 11 en route to a wildcard berth. The team enters the postseason with serious momentum.

Sunday’s 28-16 upset against the Houston Texans likely raised the Colts’ profile across the league, even if it did little to change attitudes inside the locker room.

“As a team, we’ve been confident in ourselves all year,” said quarterback Andrew Luck. “… (I)t’s always been a very confident locker room, so it is nice to get a win before the playoffs and have a little mojo going in.”

Luck is among a host of rookies who will be making their first playoff appearance next weekend. He said the youngsters will rely on veterans such as Robert Mathis, Reggie Wayne and Dwight Freeney, who have spent much of their careers on playoff teams.

Text Only
  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Grandstands feel a little empty at NASCAR races

    Two decades after NASCAR started running at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the crowds have thinned considerably. It's probably no reflection on the sport's massive following, which stretches from coast to coast, but it surely doesn't NASCAR's image help when the cameras pan across all of those empty seats.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • 'Rebel' mascot rising from the dead

    Students and alumni from a Richmond, Va.-area high school are seeking to revive the school's historic mascot, a Confederate soldier known as the "Rebel Man," spurring debate about the appropriateness of public school connections to the Civil War and its icons.

    July 28, 2014

  • HallofFameBraves.jpg Hall of Fame adds businesslike Braves, Frank Thomas, managers La Russa and Torre

    Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, and their manager, Bobby Cox, dominated much of baseball during the 1990s. This weekend they went into the Hall of Fame together.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Posturing, predictions fly as SEC turns to a new season

    Little news is truly made at the Southeastern Conference's media days, where players and coaches predict, insinuate and deflect in advance of this fall's college football season.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20110929_bowling.jpg Why fewer people go bowling

    Like other industries facing tough economic times, America's bowling centers are trying to reinvent themselves.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg James bears the weight of Cleveland's championship dreams

    Can LeBron James change Cleveland sports history? Overcoming this city's tortured curse could prove impossible - even for the world's best basketball player.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo